Inside the heated history of the permanent wave machine

Inside the heated history of the permanent wave machine

    Through the course of time, humans have cut it, shaved it, grown it out, washed it, dried it, colored it, curled it and yes, even made jewelry out of it. People have always looked for new things to do with their hair. This permanent wave machine, selected as this week’s Pennsylvania Treasure by …

Continue reading ‘Inside the heated history of the permanent wave machine’ »

Bear’s Grease: A 19th-century cure for baldness, sores and cowlicks

Bear’s Grease: A 19th-century cure for baldness, sores and cowlicks

Have you ever wondered what people used to care for and style their hair before the advent of hairspray, gel, shampoo and conditioner? The week’s Pennsylvania Treasure, discovered by CAP curator Rachel Lovelace-Portal, answers that question in the form of bear’s grease, or, more specifically, a small ceramic jar that once contained bear’s grease. The …

Continue reading ‘Bear’s Grease: A 19th-century cure for baldness, sores and cowlicks’ »

Macabre jewelry rooted in human hair

Macabre jewelry rooted in human hair

  This week’s Pennsylvania Treasure is a collection of jewelry made from human hair. While we might consider it macabre today, the wearing of hair jewelry in Victorian society was accepted and embraced as a physical reminder of death. Museum collections today contain necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, lockets, brooches and even wreaths. The use of …

Continue reading ‘Macabre jewelry rooted in human hair’ »

Locks of George Washington’s Hair

Locks of George Washington’s Hair

Artifacts associated with the nation’s first president are highly coveted by museums, history buffs and memorabilia collectors alike. The State Museum of Pennsylvania is fortunate to possess two samples of George Washington’s hair. Collections Advancement Project Curator, Katelyn Adam, selected the tresses as this week’s Pennsylvania Treasure.   Adam said she finds it “incredibly random …

Continue reading ‘Locks of George Washington’s Hair’ »